Why Trust Is So Important in Ecommerce

Shopping online allows consumers to obtain goods from all over the globe. With a few clicks and keystrokes, buyers can bring the products they want directly to their doorstep. ecommerceIt almost sounds too good to be true. So, why do some people still avoid engaging with small business ecommerce stores?

According to one 2017 survey, 49 percent of people who abstain from online shopping say it’s because “[they] do not trust shopping online.” Their ecommerce-related anxieties range from cyber criminals to unscrupulous companies.

One thing is clear: Retailers looking to turn website visitors into customers—and one-time customers into loyal, returning ones—need to focus on building trust. Why is trust so important in ecommerce? It can make or break your bottom line.

Consider these strategies for boosting trust between your web store and your customer base.

Ramp Up Cybersecurity

Online shoppers worry malicious hackers will steal their personal and payment information remotely. To assuage this fear, make sure your store upholds the latest Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) compliance requirements. By adhering to these standards, ecommerce companies better secure cardholder data, reducing the likelihood of a data breach.

Install SSL Certificates on websites to encrypt data transfer between server and browser. SSL secures your website and customer information from hackers. There are types of certificates available such as DV SSL, Wildcard SSL, Multi-domain SSL, EV SSL and more. Each provides different levels of security. EV SSL Certificates provide the highest degree of authentication and SSL protection. For ecommerce websites, EV SSL certificates are recommended.

Your store can further inspire consumer confidence by displaying trust badges and seals. These signs, though small, convey authenticity to your audience because they represent the stamp of legitimacy from third-party organizations such as anti-virus software providers and payment gateways.

Choosing the right trust insignia can actually increase conversions.

Humanize Your Website

If cybersecurity is the key to logically building trust with customers, humanizing your website is the way to do so emotionally. Avoid portraying your store and brand as generic, anonymous or overly technical. This is easy to accomplish, as modern enterprise ecommerce platforms allow for extensive customization of your virtual storefront.

It’s also simpler than ever to populate your website with copy and product descriptions crafted to connect on an emotional level. Your product catalogue should go beyond offering manufacturer descriptions alone. Custom copy aligning with your brand voice goes a long way toward humanizing your store. Give shoppers a glimpse behind the curtain with an “About Us” landing page containing your brand philosophy and introductions to the folks working behind the scenes.

Establish Social Proof

People trust each other more than they trust ecommerce companies. This means you’ll need more than your word alone to convince shoppers to convert. Social proof taps into human psychology to persuade people it’s worthwhile to buy from you.

Examples include:

  • Testimonials from previous buyers
  • Honest product ratings and reviews
  • Social media share buttons
  • A user generated content feed
  • Statistics related to your store
  • Partnership with social influencers

Let’s say a new shopper is on the fence about buying from your store, even though you have the exact product they seek. It’s your job to earn their business. Since you lack the ability to seal the deal in person, social proof is often the next best tool for the job. People want to know others have successfully purchased and used your products one way or another.

Integrate a hashtag-powered social media feed showing past customers’ pictures and captions. Remind past customers to leave their ratings and reviews a few days or weeks after purchasing. Partner with relevant social influencers within your niche. The more social proof you can provide, the less hesitant consumers will be to buy.

Trust is so important in ecommerce because it clinches first-time sales and prompts shoppers to build a lasting relationship with your store. Cybersecurity, social proof and a distinctly humanized website will go a long way toward demonstrating your honesty—and driving conversions.

About Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion is a writer and blogger covering the small business space.